UK - Pension scheme deficits showed significant improvement in 2007, despite returns on UK pension assets falling to their lowest level in five years.
UK pension scheme assets were found to be the second largest in the world at $2.9trn (€1.97trn), or 11% of all assets, behind the US' $16trn (61%).
The IFSL said the fortunes of FTSE 100 company pension plans improved significantly in 2007, with the large historic aggregate deficit of £40bn (€53.9bn) turning into an accounting-driven surplus of £12bn by the end of the year.
However, the IFSL pointed to falling equity markets, lower long-term bond yields and longer life expectancy as factors which had the potential to reverse these gains. It also said occupation scheme deficits continued to exist on the balance sheets of large companies.
Globally, pension fund assets rose 14% to the highest ever level of $26trn. Two thirds of all assets ($17.5trn) are invested in occupational pension funds, with the remainder invested in insurance schemes, private pensions or alternative products.
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